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I could feel it in the air; this was not a good vision. My eyes flickered from Edward to Alice to Bella, and I unsuccessfully tried to comprehend what was going on. “Alice?” Esme questioned nervously. We all know how Bella felt and what she thought during the hunt, and we can have pretty good idea of what Edward thought. But one of the most complex characters, one whom can get a frame of what may be going on in a person's mind but not details, one whom struggles to maintain his thirst sometimes is very thoroughly ignored. And he has plenty to say.

On why it's being written: I was simply rereading Twilight one day when I came to the hunt and thought about Jasper. I had read the first chapter of New Moon again that morning, so the issue of Jasper's thirst was fresh in my head. As I was saying, I came to the hunt, and while reading about them in the hotel room, I thought about how hard it must have been for Jasper to resist. It was one of those magnetic stories that I had to get down, so I managed to put Twilight down and get to my computer. From there, I just started typing. On the title: Protezione is Italian for protecting, and I chose Italian because Bella is being protected and Bella is Italian for beautiful. Not very creative, I know. If anyone has any good suggestions, though, I'm all ears.

2. Chapter 2

Rating 3.5/5   Word Count 567   Review this Chapter

They stepped out from the even darker shadow of the trees, eyes flickering between us. One of them, I noticed, seemed oddly fixated on Edward, like he was trying to see behind him. The haunting burgundy tone of their eyes was a reminder of my past, the past that always seemed bound to repeat itself in some way or another.

Carlisle spoke to them, his British accent becoming slightly more prominent in urgency, an urgency that rolled off everyone in waves. Not surprisingly, Edward was the worst. Tension filled him, so much it was like he would explode from it. Yet, it surrounded him, pushing him in, compressing him, suffocating him. Making me explode. Suffocating me.

I kept my breathing steady to offset the steady tension in the air. It elevated slightly, the amount radiating off of Edward, and I assumed he read something he didn’t like in one of their heads. It wouldn’t be a concern, though; we had taken precautions to protect Bella. They would just think she was a strongly scented vampire. They had no reason not to believe it. Not unless something happened.

A gentle breeze blew through just then, ruffling our hair, blowing our scents. Nothing that would normally be of any consequence. Except that we had a human with us tonight, and a coven of vampires that, unlike us, wouldn’t have a problem with drinking her dry. One of them, the one who had seemed fixated on Edward before, turned his head to face Edward and Bella, eyes wide and body tense. Edward instinctively bent into a defensive crouch and growled. The newcomer stepped forward, and Edward matched his move.

“We will not hunt on your land,” said the other male of the group.

The average-looking one glared at him. Anger rolled off of him in waves, and then rebellion. Something wasn’t right; Edward was drowning in fear and frustration. I glanced at him briefly, and the look in his eyes confirmed what I already knew: something was very, very wrong.

“Come on, Bella. Let’s go.” His guilt, sadness, and anger were intense, suffocating me. Had he been human, tears would have been pouring out of his eyes. What did he know that we didn’t? What did he see in the newcomers’ minds? What did he see that would make him so protective of Bella?

The unattractive one and the red-head turned to each other, and seemed to be communicating with their eyes.

“We’d love to take you up on your offer,” said the leader, Laurent.

“Actually,” began the ugly man. “We had better go. We don’t want to intrude.” With that, he and the red-head turned and ran off into the woods.

“We should head back to the house,” Carlisle stated. “You’re welcome to join us, Laurent.” Laurent nodded, and started to turn toward our home. I started, too, as did Carlisle, but Rosalie didn’t budge.

“Jasper, Carlisle, what am I missing?” asked Rosalie, her voice solemn, trying to piece together even less pieces than I had. Laurent stopped dead in his tracks. He turned back around, his face cold.

“What you’re missing,” said Laurent, explaining, “is that James is a tracker.” It all clicked together.

A tracker.

Killing for sport.

Desperate for a challenge.

Seven vampires all intent on protecting one human, one human who happened to have an extraordinarily appealing scent. A fantastic challenge.

This wasn’t good.